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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2274664-The-Hike
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2274664
The story of a hike my boyfriend and I once did when we lived in Beverly hills Florida
The Hike
Written by Jade Draco

This happened when I lived in a town in the north of Florida called Beverly Hills. I was living with my then-boyfriend we will call him Joe. We liked to hike a lot in the area, especially on the outskirts of this town. The place had lots of woodsy areas if did before development came and destroyed all the trails we had used to hike in. One day it was a nice spring Florida day where it wasn't too hot the temperature was a nice 70 degrees and spatters of rain here, and there, but not pouring. My boyfriend and I decided to take some hiking trails in the area. At the time we had no cell phones with cameras and no form of video camera capability I wish we had because the experience we had was creepy. we headed out near our little house to a little trailer in an Rv/trailer park I think was called Sandy Oaks, or Sandy pines not sure of the name. It was on the outskirts of Beverly hills fl at the time I recalled my boyfriend worked at a place a bar and grill called Cara mia's Bar and Grill, and he was off that day. We started out going through the wooded trails our trailer park/Rv area had nearby. We traveled through lots of pine trees, oak, and lots of sand cacti that dotted the trails that were the norm in Florida sand cacti grew everywhere as well as palmetto bushes, pine, oak, and birch trees, and the occasional cypress.For the most part the cypress trees were most often found by wet areas,marsh,bogs,swamps,lakes,and rivers. this day was comfortable relaxing with the constant smell of rain similar to cut grass wafting through the air as well as the strong scent of pine. As we walked we got to the end of one trail and started on another one we had hiked weeks before, and continue to repeat the same thing as one trail ended we walked on a different one. Florida at that time in that area was often beautiful and peaceful and there was hardly any noise from traffic or people, for the most part, we were left alone on the wooded trails not seeing anyone for hours and hours. Ar one point we stopped to rest on a fallen pine tree and drink some water from our thermos and nibble on some beef jerky, and admire the beautiful stretched-out forest that laid out all around us. When we had sufficient rest and nourishment we went on. At one point we saw that the trail curved where we saw an opening in the woods. This was an opening we had not yet seen before in previous outings following the somewhat overgrown cut in the woods there was a huge radio antenna tower surrounded on all sides by an eight-foot fence with bob wire at the top. We were surprised by it, but not alarmed it was the norm the more people moved into the area the more development took place. We were both nature enthusiasts so we just looked at it in a mixture of distaste, and anger we hated development because development meant more people, trash, and god help us a super Walmart store nearby bringing more people to the somewhat quiet town of Beverly hills. We started to turn back into the woods when we caught sight of what looked like tumbled rocks past the tower in a stand of roughly a hundred or so huge thickly grown pine trees. We looked at it and out of curiosity went past the ugly eye sore of a tower and to the stand of trees and saw the rocks were half-buried grave stones old ancient gravestones some of the writing you could hardly make out. We saw one 1888 the year 1876, most all in the 1800s. There were close to four of them all in different states of neglect. We went closer and saw a small game trail that angled down and then looked like it broadened out as you went further in. We benign adventurous sorts followed it running across prickly blackberry bushes, nearly colliding with translucent spiderwebs hanging across the trail, and stumbling into a patch of Sand cacti fortunately we had long thick jeans on, and boots for the hike. We followed the game trail close to a mile all heading down what seemed like a small hill when the trail dead-ended at a mess of poison oak we were disappointed that we had to go back, but then we saw a small opening through the trees on the right side of us. Excited to see our journey had not ended we made our way through the opening at the time we had seen no more gravestones since following the game trail. On the other side of the opening, we found ourselves looking out upon a football-field size old graveyard that time had indeed forgotten. We looked around there were gravestones everywhere stretched out from where we stood to an even bigger stand of trees on the other side of the graveyard the width the size of a football field. The years on the graves were from 1800 to the latest benign 1948 .there was Jackson a family of four to Kellers family of two, to Bakers, Collings, Jordens, and Franklins. All various family plot sizes to one or two gravestones. It was amazing I wished at the time I had any sort of camera, cell phone, or video recorder to make a document. We spent the next couple of hours there reading the various stones and walking around the area looking in amazement at the many stones there were. The entire cemetery was hidden on all sides by stands of thick impenetrable forest, prickly bushes, and other overgrowths. It was beautiful and sad that most of these people in the cemetery had long been forgotten by the ones they loved, and society altogether. As it was getting later in the afternoon when mosquitoes came out and biting gnats and the humid condition was rising to make the day a little more uncomfortable and hot we decided to head back. We decided to take a different route than where we came in because we were still a bit curious about the surrounding woods on the other side of the cemetery. My boyfriend was certain it would lead us into a loop and take us back on the trail we started on so off we went into the other parts of the woods and we walked through thickly grown trees and sparse open sandy meadows dotted with palmetto bushes small sandy openings of box turtles and sand cacti and across a thick patch of stinging nettle, beautiful golden rods, and dog fennel bushes. It got hotter the sun beamed down on us. We were in the woods most of the time, but when we went through the meadows there were little to no trees and it was sweltering and we only had one thermos bottle of water each. I kept asking my boyfriend was he sure he knew where we were going hs kept assuring me it would be okay it would take us to the other side of the trailer park/Rv park not to worry. So I continue following till we were brought to a larger opening that led to the south of us there were clear signs of people had been there with a potato chip bag and a Snapple tea bottle. We pocketed the trash and followed that trail which thankfully was covered mostly with the shade of oak and birch we were not walking very far when we saw an old fallen-down stone foundation on the side of the trail we stopped to exam it saw brick steps crumbled old wooden beams jotted out of a half-fallen wall part of a tin roof was still up but looked like if you breathed on it the thing would fall. We walked toward it and looked at the old beer cans piled in the corner of the fallen structure saw old toys, torn dirty clothes on the ground, and even an old rotten bathtub minus the floor of said tub. It was the second interesting thing we found that day. We then began to feel the distinct warm pitter-patter of rain falling down the buzzing of mosquitos and stinging gnats got louder so that was our cue to head out. My boyfriend and I picked up our pace a little bit as the gnats and mosquitos were getting downright vicious we continue following the same tree-covered trail for almost an hour before we thought we heard a waterfall we looked at each other like what the hell Florida in this area didn't have waterfalls, but the sound of water rushing in the woods around was clear as day. Us thinking maybe there was a waterfall in the woods we followed it trying to find it thinking if it was real how nice it would be to cool off init and maybe get our bodies cooled down enough that these biting insects wouldn't bother us. So throwing off trying to follow the trail we were on like smart people we veered off into the woods not caring about how thick the trees pushed in on us as we made our way through them we just had an almost desperate urge to find the waterfall to get relief from the humidity, the hot rain, the biting stinging nasty bugs relentlessly dive-bombing us. As you can guess we got hopelessly lost and still no waterfall. We stumbled rather forcefully into a large clearing falling on our backside over some tree trunks that seemed to reach out and grab us. Cursing we stood up and looked around the clearing that seemed to be the remnants of a timber cutting business there were various trees of all sizes down long ago forgotten some had weeds growing over them, under them, and on them. We walked around the clearing noticing that the clearing hadn't seen people hear in years because of the overgrown shrubs, and bushes, We walked around looking at the amazing neglect by a man clearing it was like a dead tree forest with so many dead trees. We went further into the clearing only to react in astonishment to the sizes of the tree in the middle of the clearing. Ir was a massive pine it looked to once be as tall as ten to twelve feet the roots were as long as an SUV then we noticed things hanging from the roots we went closer and saw hundreds of child-size clothes hoodies, and other children's things some torn back packets shoes, and hats. We felt our skin crawl not knowing who had brought all these things to this tree and hung them up there like a morbid upside-down Christmas tree. We looked around noting there was no clear way into this clearing, not even the area we fell into looked like it was never used as soon as we fell into the clearing the woods closed themselves back up. At times like this, you would think we could feel someone watching us realizing someone discovered what seemed like their morbid souvenir collection. We didn't see or feel anything just tired a little creeped out, and more of a hurried need to get the hell out of this clearing. So we walked past the tree and its decorations only to discover more children's things toys markers, socks, and other things. My boyfriend and I quickly left the tree behind half walking half jogging to the nearest tree line and fought our way through the thick trees and thick undergrowth for several more hours till we finally stumbled scratched up bleeding and exhausted and thirsty to a nicely manicured lawn of the public park that was about a two-miles near where we lived. We didn't stop but made a bee line directly to the water fountain in the center drank till our stomachs hurt, and washed up using the faucet at the bottom of the water fountain. We rested for a minute then thought we would venture back with a camera and more supplies and maybe a call to the local cops later now that we knew where the place was as we headed home. Unfortunately, It didn't seem to be in the cards for us to ever return back to that place because a week after that we were forced to move since the home we lived in was then sold to developers and everyone had to find a new place to go since they wanted to bring townhomes into the area. We told the local authorities about the tree we found in the woods, and they went to where we said it was only to discover they never found the clearing or the cemetery nearby. We had asked them about a waterfall we heard when we went hiking in the area and they told us there were no waterfalls anywhere near where we had been hiking at. Well that was my weird true story sorry it was so long.

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